Is there anything better than a glass of chilled beer in this sweltering summer heat? The answer is obvious and loud - NO! From light and fruity to hoppy and complex, the best summer beer is the one you come back to again and again as soon as the temperature crawls above 30 degrees.
“A chilled, refreshing beer is the perfect antidote to Mumbai's scorching heat. With the wide variety of craft beers available in Mumbai, the consumer is totally spoilt for choice. Be it Bira's newest Mango Lassi Ale or Gateway Brewing Company's Rose Gose, the passionate craft brewers in Mumbai have created the perfect solution to beat the heat. My favourite styles that work for summer are - lager and gose. Both these styles are light to consume and easy on the palate,” says Pankil Shah, Director and Co-founder, Neighbourhood Hospitality Pvt. Ltd., Woodside Inn.
Sessionability (low alcohol content) is also key to any summer beers, as you will want to quickly grab a second or third to keep quenching your thirst in the summer heat. “Almost all craft beers in Mumbai are currently at 5% or less ABV (alcohol by volume). Given that even our winters are only a slightly cooler version of summer, high ABV beers like those in Europe do not work as well here,” adds Shah.
So here are some of the best beers to crack open this summer for a tropical getaway. We promise you won't be disappointed.
1. Mango Mosaic Pale Ale by Drifters Breweries
What screams summer more than a mango? A mango flavoured beer, perhaps. This summer special from Drifters has real Alphonso mango puree infused during secondary fermentation. The result is a refreshing Pale ale with a distinct mango sweetness. The fresh vanilla beans in the mix also add to the heady aroma. At 5.0% ABV this is a great beer that won’t leave you with an annoying hangover.
Best paired with: Spicy Indian food.
Price: Rs 630 plus taxes for 1000 ml.
2. Red Guava IPA by Effingut Breweries
Whether you want a beer for hanging out with friends at the bar or drinking at home at the end of a long day, you can’t go wrong with this crisp and clear Guava IPA from Effingut. With just enough flavour to remind you that you are, in fact, drinking a beer and a clean finish, it will be your beer of choice this season. The muted touch of fruitiness and hints of hops on the palate keeps things refreshing. This beer hybrid is a cross between a lager and an ale and makes for a relaxing, easy-drinking beer and one of the most refreshing options when it's super hot outside. You'll definitely be going back for a second and third.
Best Paired with: Pork ribs and char-grilled chicken.
Price: Rs 529 for a growler.
3.Kokum Sour by Bira 91
Want something to tickle your taste buds. Go for the limited edition kokum sour by Bira 91. This beer is crafted with indigenously sourced kokum from the Konkan coast. Each sip is guaranteed to deliver tangy punch and a whisper of hops that fades into a smooth, crisp finish. Definitely add this to your summer drinking arsenal. The funky and fabulous can design by graphic artists from Kulture Co. is an added bonus. They also have a Mango Lassi Ale an experimental beer that merges Bira 91’s flagship wheat ale and a milkshake beer into one flavourful bomb. This one will give your taste buds a love bite.
Best paired with: French fries and other finger food.
Price: Rs 220 for 330 ml can
4. Guava Gose by Great State Aleworks
This Pune-based craft brewery focused on experimental ales using local ingredients has unleashed this easy-drinking sour, salty and delicious beer infused with guava. There is a distinct aroma of ripe guava along with the prominent freshness of the fruit. The high carbonation and low ABV keep it light and refreshing. Guava Gose is super smooth and crisp - ideal for sunny days.
Best paired with: Soft cheese, cold cuts, bruschetta, or a fresh summer salad.
Price: Rs 600 a litre.
5. Ten to Tango IPA from BrewDog
Warm weather calls for this show-stopper of an IPA infused with tangerine and bursting with subdued malt and fruit flavour. There are subtle notes of caramel too. It's a crisp, refreshing beer that's lowABV but still has clear malt character and citrusy notes. Ten to Tango will make you feel like you're at the seaside, even if you're nowhere near the beach.
Best paired with: Mince lamb skewers.
Price: Rs 383 for 330ML
6. Wine Gose Beer from Gateway Brewing Co.
Sometimes you want wine, sometimes you want beer. And then there are those special times, maybe when you are sitting by a pool in the sweltering sun when you want a little bit of both. Enter Rose Wine Gose. This blushing beer made from wine grapes grown at the brewer’s winery hits you with a little bit of sweetness, a little bit of sour, and lots of fruity flavours. The wine-like aftertaste on the palate is the best part. Out of the tap, this German sour beer pours a deep rosy pink that is sure to put a smile on your face.
Best paired with: Seafood, pizza, soft cheese, and Indian dishes.
Price: Rs 620/liter.
7. Rhubarb Goseby Great State Aleworks
Rhubarb is a difficult flavour to pull off in a beer. But Great Slate has done this exceptionally well. The small batch beer is brewed with rhubarb sourced from Kikui Farms in Ooty. In addition to its well-defined tart flavour, this beer also has a restrained coriander and salt character. The distinctive taste is subtle enough to drink in succession but tangy enough to leave you feeling refreshed. The best is that it’s highly carbonated and stands at a refreshingly low 4% ABV.
Best paired with: Soft cheese like a chevre, a charcuterie board, bruschetta or a fresh summer salad.
Price: Rs 600 a litre.